Over the last 20 years I have made my 2 - 3 year pilgrimages to Europe for the World Mountain Running Championships and have always included London as part of my trip. This year was no exception!
Since living in London for 3 years back in the mid 80's I have had a strong pull back. I am a nostalgic person and love the history that London has to offer! But it is the friends I made there that keeps drawing me back.
In fact the first of these I caught up with on my last visit who have often put me up are Chris and Mary who I actually met in my home town, Dunedin. Mary is a kiwi but Chris is English. In the late 80's Chris had been posted to the Dunedin Library for a year exchange and I met him through my brother who also worked at the library. Chris and Mary struck up a friendship with Jo and I and we regularly met up for dinner. They now live in Worcester Park and have been extremely kind to me by letting me stay with them. I always catch up with Chris for a few pints!
|Chris at the Worcester Park Hotel|
Paul and Dave are two Londoners who I met when I joined Thames Valley Harriers in 1985. I struck up a friendship with them and we travelled around different parts of England to compete in various races. It is wonderful to meet local people as a tourist. They looked after me and introduced me to the English way of life. I enjoyed meeting up again this time and reliving the old days when we were younger and faster.
|From Left - Paul, Dave and I|
The last person I would like to mention is John who many readers will know from his blog and mine. He bravely agreed to meet me at his home in Southern England and look after me for a day. We had a great time playing music and managed to tell our life histories in that time. John is a colourful character with quite a past that he regularly writes about on his blog. We struck up a great friendship and I look forward to meeting up again in a couple more years.
|John and Tricia|